4 Ways to Automate Your Sales Team's Pipeline Keep up with the times with these sales tips.

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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It's 2018, which means if you are still implementing traditional old-school sales tactics, you are more than likely miles behind your competition. In a technology-focused world where answers are expected immediately, your sales process must function similarly. Using automation to accelerate and streamline your sales process not only results in increased lead generation, but it will also make the jobs of your sales reps easier.

Automation tactics such as email drip campaigns, call tracking and chatbots are allowing companies to save time, while creating a laser-targeted sales pipeline that delivers relevant content to prospective leads, while nurturing them until they convert into a closed customer. A white paper published by amoCRM highlights several ways a business can automate its sales pipeline to ensure a more streamlined sales process to achieve sales goals in an increasingly competitive environment, which I have highlighted below.

1. Create a framework that guarantees lead progression.

It's important to implement a framework that ensures lead progression. Using pre-created email templates, set up workflows within your customer relationship manager (CRM) to organize pre-determined email actions according to the leads response. It's also useful to utilize email drip campaigns and set up a series of automated emails for each list you create, in order to nurture them continuously with relevant, timely content and information pertaining to their position in the pipeline.

The surge of chatbot use has completely changed how we correspond with leads. When integrated on your website, chatbots allow automated interaction with leads, and can facilitate the entire sales process. This enables the potential lead or customer to engage with someone from your company automatically, without the initial effort of an actual physical employee. Utilize chatbots to provide a seamless nurturing experience with minimal effort from your front end.

Related: 7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop

2. Analyze and pivot based on data patterns.

We live in a world that relies on data. Analyze your sales data regularly, and as you continue to move leads through the pipeline, pay close attention to trends. These include sales cycle time, success of prospecting methods, email response rates and the nurturing methods that were successful. 60 percent of salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them, they don't change it.

If something is clearly not working, don't be afraid to pivot. The worst thing you can do is continue to plug away with the hope of change. In today's technology-driven age, if you don't pivot when the data indicates it's time, you are sunk.

Related: 7 Tips for Getting More Sales Meetings With Prospects

3. Remove extra steps.

Remove extra steps in the sales process by utilizing your CRM's automated lead creation function, which allows a lead card to be created with all known information from the source, whether via social media or email.

This eliminates time spent entering tedious information into the CRM, and allows more time spent focused on nurturing the lead to a converted state. A lead card will also import information you may not have previously known about the lead if you had entered it into the CRM manually, such as social media presence and additional contact information.

Having more information available at the beginning of the sales process arms you with data that you can use to your advantage when moving them through the pipeline.

Related: AI Is Taking the Art Out of Sales

4. Leverage automated task assignment.

When certain conditions are met in the pipeline, tasks can be automatically assigned to certain team members. This not only streamlines your pipeline, but it also helps with the internal organization of your sales team by increasing the clarity of task management and expectations.

For example, if a lead requires a follow-up phone call at a specific point in the cycle, your CRM can be programmed to automatically assign that phone call to a team member that is currently available. Rather than wait, this allows your company to make that call at the optimal time, greatly increasing the odds of a close.
Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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